Do you hate the thought of Monday morning sales meetings? Do you find it hard to drag yourself out of bed, let alone fight your way through traffic, hoping you won?t be late?
When I first started my?sales career, I belonged to the?group of sales reps who had to drag themselves to every sales meeting. Once the sales meeting had finished we were the salespeople?who?headed to the local coffee shop to bury our sorrows over a cappuccino or a danish.
It hadn't always been like that, initially I had been full of enthusiasm. I had been offered a position that had the potential to provide an unlimited income. But as time moved on my lack of experience resulted in me struggling to make enough sales each week. With every knock back, my confidence started to give way to negative thinking.
Having worked at that company for six months, I found every day a struggle to be on time. Feeling sorry for myself, those sessions in the coffee shop allowed me to vent my disappointment with my colleagues.
The day my sales career turned around ...
After another lengthy sales meeting, I was about to head to the coffee shop with the others when my boss pulled me aside for a private chat.
?Ken, why are you hanging around with those guys at the coffee shop? Said my boss.
Without even waiting for an answer, he went on.
?If only you knew how much you are missing out on,? he said.
Feeling a little confused, I asked my boss what he was talking about.
?Glenda, of course,? he said.
Glenda, was our top sales rep. No matter what the rest of us did, each week she came out on top. It was though she knew some secret to success.
?What you don't?realise is that Glenda is the first to arrive. Glenda gets the first and biggest bite of the cherry,? he said.
?As you know, at the Monday morning sales meeting I hand out all the Leads collected by the company over the past week.
?Have you ever wondered why Glenda never complains about the small amount of Leeds I give out? Haven?t you noticed that Glenda sits there not saying a word.
?The reason she doesn?t complain, is that she has already gone through the pile of Leads we get and has usually made 10 or so follow-up calls from the Leads she has picked out.
?By the time you guys walk through the door at five minutes to nine, I am only left with one or two Leads to hand out and for the most part they are not worth the paper they?re written on.
?Ken, if you want to make it in this business you have to be like Glenda, start work?early. Get a head start on everyone else.
?Next Monday, I challenge you to be here at 7 AM. If you get here early as Glenda does?I will give you the opportunity to be the first person to choose which leads they would like.
?Don?t waste this opportunity. As soon as you get those leads, make a phone call to each and every one of them. By Monday lunchtime you might be surprised by your sales figures."
What did I learn from my boss that day?
There is an old saying, the early bird gets the worm.
Looking back some 20 years later, I now know that Glenda was no better salesperson than the rest of us. She just made it a habit to be the first person to take action.
What can you do this week that will put you ahead?of the sales team? What difference would it make to your sales results if you started cold calling 25 minutes earlier than the others?
What most sales people often overlook, is that decision-makers are normally in early and leave late. The best time to call a decision maker is around 7 to 7:30 AM or 5 to 6:30 PM.
If you make sales calls early in the morning and late in the afternoon, you will not have to deal with gatekeepers. In most cases, you?ll get through to the actual decision-maker as they are normally the only one in the office.?What?s more, in the morning decision-makers are usually looking for ideas to help them improve their business. You approach them with a good idea and sales success is assured.?When it comes to the end of the day, they normally stop traveling at a rapid rate and you will find the missing at their desk taking phone calls because the receptionist has gone home.
Over 20 years ago I learned the value of being the first person to turn up at our Monday morning sales meetings.